Ollie Herbert has received an invitation to play on the Team USA women's football team in the Cancun Bowl in Cancun, Mexico on March 9, 2019.
Lets help Ollie achieve her dream of gearing up in that USA jersey-representing not only herself, but her family, and her people. Ollie wants to be able to show our youth it is possible to achieve dreams if you are willing to work hard and believe in yourself.
Let me start off from where it all began, I was born August 5th, 1983 to Terry & Minnie Herbert of Klamath Falls, OR. At a young age my father got me hooked on athletics. My older brothers played so he took me to every game they had from football to baseball. I always wanted to be like my older brother Michael Herbert and do exactly everything he did.
At that time, I didn't understand I could not play football because girls back then were not able to play that sport. I was strictly a men's sport. That did not stop me from ever wondering about the sport of football, but in the meantime I took to softball and it was the first love of my life. I woke up everyday training and getting to know the rules of softball at the age of 5. Always wanting to know more and learn what I needed to do to become the best I could be and grow up to play in the biggest games that softball had to offer me. At the age of 12, I decided I wanted to be challenged a little harder and decided to join the boys team for a year. I wanted to see if I could compete with the boys and keep up with them. That year I was the second best hitter in the league and ended up making the 12-year-old All Star team as the starting catcher. After that I went back to playing Little League in Klamath Falls for one more year.
When I was 13, ASA came to Klamath and I found a new competition playing against the best players traveling up and down the Northwest. These were some of the toughest teams I have ever played against. While playing ASA, I finally made it to the greatest time in a woman's life, good ol high school.
I attended Henley High school and entering as a freshman I was told that I would not make the varsity team. It had been over 18 years since a freshman made the varsity team. For me that was just another challenge, challenges are what I live for! Just like when I was 12 and was told I was not going to make the boys team since I was a girl and girls could not play with the boys. I overcame that as well. Going into my freshman year I had a few months to train and get myself ready for varsity tryouts. When the time arrived, I gave everything I had out on that field and for the next 4 years of high school I played varsity softball! I accomplished getting First Team All Conference at shortstop, won conference title all 4 years, and played in state championship game once. From there I went on to play softball for College of Siskyous for 2 years, getting to the Elite 8 once, and getting First Team and MVP honors.
After leaving college I found I missed playing in a team setting. When I was 28 I was introduced to women's tackle football. It was then that I found a home with the Portland Fighting Fillies for a season. I followed the next season with the Portland River City Raiders. I developed a passion for the sport and a fire I didn't know I could have for anything other than softball. After my season with the River City Raiders I had to take a break due to distance. My beloved sport was 2 hours away from my home and the commute became too much.
Fast forward to 2018: I was ecstatic to learn my hometown of Eugene, OR had started a woman's team in the IWFL league. I had been given another chance, one that I would do whatever it took to make it work. I practiced on little to no sleep and worked hard thru injuries to learn new skills. The Eugene Lady Hawks has given me a home. Although we had a very tuff season, we fought until the very last second of every game. When the season had finished, I had thought football was done for the year, but then sometimes life throws you a beautiful pass. I was selected as First Team All American All Star, and I traveled to Houston, TX to play in the West vs East All Star game. I was honored to be given this opportunity. I came home with a new appreciation for my beloved sport. I began thinking about and preparing for the 2019 season. I live and breathe football, so when I received an invitation to play on the Team USA women's football team, I was speechless, I accepted immediately!
Never would I thought it possible for me to put on a USA jersey and play a sport Iove! Now I am training harder, working harder, and will rise to the challenge set before me. I have to work also to meet the financial aspect of being a part of this team. As with many women my age, I have responsibilities at home. I have a family to take care of as well as helping my parents financially. Figuring out the monetary obligation of being on this team has humbled me. I have always prided myself on being able to stand on my own and be the rock that my family deserves. I have realized that I need help, therefore, I am currently looking for sponsors and donations to help me achieve my dream of gearing up in that Team USA jersey!!